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Steffy Forrester

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Steffy Forrester
Steffy Forrester.png
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Steffy Forrester
The Bold and the Beautiful character
Portrayed by
Duration 1999–2006, 2008–13, 2015–
First appearance September 21, 1999
Introduced by Bradley Bell
Book appearances Forbidden Affair (2013)[1]
Second Chances (2014)
Classification Former, recurring (returning)
Profile
Occupation Businesswoman, model
Home Paris, France

Stephanie "Steffy" Forrester (formerly Spencer) is a fictional character from the American CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Introduced by Bradley Bell, she is currently portrayed by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood. Steffy and her twin sister Phoebe (MacKenzie Mauzy) were born onscreen as the daughters of supercouple Ridge (Ronn Moss) and Taylor Forrester (Hunter Tylo) during the episode airing on September 21, 1999. For the character's first five-year period, she appeared as a minor. In 2005, Steffy was rapidly aged to a teenager, and in 2008 she appeared as an adult when Wood took over the role. Wood portrayed the role continuously until 2013, when she decided to leave her regular capacity with the series, and has returned for sporadic recurring appearances since.

Steffy has suffered many losses throughout her life, which according to Wood is the reason for her "deep seeded issues" and puzzling storylines. While characterized as being provocative and strong-willed, Steffy is emotionally starved on the inside due to her father's neglect. For part of her life, Steffy grew up motherless after Taylor's supposed death. In 2008, Phoebe was in a fatal car accident and Steffy began dating Phoebe's ex-boyfriend Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) soon after.

The character is known for her relationships with various men and her animosity towards the Logan family, particularly her mother's rival Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) and her own arch-rival Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula). Since 2010, Steffy's storyline has revolved around a love triangle with Hope and her husband Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton). Wood's performance in the role has been popular with audiences and critics, and has garnered her two consecutive nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013.

Casting[edit]

A woman with brunette hair, wearing a beige outfit.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood has portrayed Steffy since 2008.

From 1999 to 2003, Steffy and Phoebe were portrayed by various sets of identical twin child actors.[2] Cameryn McNabb took over the role in 2003. From January to March 2004, Jordan Mella played Steffy.[2] In April 2004, both roles were recast with Keaton and Kylie Rae Tyndall, and Steffy was rapidly aged. Kylie portrayed the role of Steffy until April 2005, when the role was recast with Addison Hoover, whose twin sister Alex Hoover took over the role of Phoebe.[3][4] The Hoover twins were downgraded to recurring status in November 2005,[5] and eventually left the program. In June 2006, former Guiding Light actress MacKenzie Mauzy took over the role of Phoebe upon the character's return, while Steffy was written out of the series.[6] Steffy was absent from the soap opera until June 4, 2008, when Canadian actress Jacqueline MacInnes Wood took over the part. With the casting of Wood, Phoebe and Steffy were retconned as fraternal twins. A month after Wood's arrival, Mauzy announced her exit from the show and Phoebe was killed off.[7] Wood finds filming on the show very quick; saying, "On the daily [show] we can shoot up to 90 pages, that’s 8 to 12 episodes, in 4 days with sometimes no rehearsal! In films, you shoot 100 pages in 4 months."[8]

In 2010, it was announced that Wood would take a brief break from the program to film the fifth installment in the Final Destination film series, Final Destination 5.[9] Wood recorded several scenes in advance of her planned absence. In May 2012, when The Bold and the Beautiful was shooting Hope and Liam's wedding on location in Italy, Wood performed her own stunts in a drowning scene.[10] Wood learned about her Daytime Emmy nomination just before filming a scene in the Adriatic sea, stating, "I was just about to shoot a scene in the Adriatic sea in Italy. The water was only 54 degrees! [Executive Producer/Head Writer] Brad Bell came up to me and said, "How does it feel to be Emmy nominated?"[11]

In May 2013, news broke that Wood had opted not to renew her contract with the show to take another break. According to Soaps In Depth, "[The producers] threw a lot of money at her to get her to stay, but she thought it was the right time to go". A representative for the show stated, "[Wood] is taking short a break, as she has done in the past, from B&B. She remains as the character of ‘Steffy Forrester’ and is continuing to tape, currently with episodes airing through July 2013 and then beyond".[12] It was later announced that Wood had decided to remain with the series on a recurring basis with episodes airing on July 4 to 12 and September 30 and October 1.[13]

After making sporadic appearances, Wood was then announced to be returning for several episodes from December 12 to 20, 2013.[14] Last appearing on the credits in February 2014, it was confirmed in October 2014 that she would not be returning on a more permanent basis, stating: "Unfortunately we weren’t on the same page contractually/scheduling etc (...) These things happen in this industry and I hope all my fans can understand that. I am a huge supporter of [executive producer/headwriter] Brad Bell and the entire cast and crew."[15] Wood was also removed from the soap opera's opening credits.[16] On December 4, 2014, Soap Opera Digest broke exclusive news that Wood would be returning to the series. At press time, Wood was scheduled for a "handful" of episodes, which began airing on January 30, 2015.[17][18][19] Wood revealed that she agreed to return to the show after Bell had personally sent her a text message.[20] Of her status with the series, the actress said "if the timing is right, I’ll always come back".[20] In April 2015, Wood confirmed she signed a contract deal with the series and would return in the role of Steffy. She will return on-screen on May 26, 2015.[21] Wood said: "When I left the show [in 2013], it wasn't a real goodbye", and mentioned that "Brad sent me a text with an idea for a storyline. We both got really excited about it and that was it. I was ready to go."[22]

Character development[edit]

Characterization[edit]

"My character is the socialite who grew up getting whatever she wanted…money, fame, everything. She's like some of those famous girls—you know who I mean but we don't need to name them —who somehow always end up in the tabloids every day."[21]

—Wood, TV Insider (2015)

Jamey Giddens of the soap opera website Daytime Confidential characterized Steffy as "bitch-nasty",[23] while Wood has described her as strong-willed[24] and a vixen.[25] The program's website said that Steffy is a "stunning fashionista" and a "provocative trendsetter", and added that "when it comes to Steffy Forrester, things are never as they seem. On the surface she’s sexy, stylish, clever, and together but below the surface, Ridge and Taylor’s only surviving daughter is emotionally starved and slowly learning how to love and be loved".[26] By 2011, Wood described Steffy as a "rich bitch" and stated, "I love playing her and developing her character. She is so different from me. It's rather cathartic, and it allows my alter ego to come out on The Bold and The Beautiful set five days a week."[8] CBS Soaps In Depth characterized Steffy as the soap opera's "resident diva".[27] When asked if Steffy was "a little bit nuts", Wood said: "yes, she's a mess. But a very strong mess."[21]

Steffy is named after her paternal grandmother Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery), with Wood affirming: "She's always thinking. There's a reason she was named for her grandmother, Stephanie. There's always a tactic, always a strategy."[21] Steffy and her brother Thomas have always dreamed of their parents Ridge (Ron Moss) and Taylor (Hunter Tylo) reuniting. In 2009, the siblings manipulate their parents to get them back together in marriage. The storyline, inspired by The Parent Trap (1961), sees Steffy and Thomas tamper with SMS text messages between Ridge and his mistress Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) to make Brooke believe that Ridge had dumped her, so she will not interrupt his reunion with Taylor. However, Brooke crashes the wedding after the marriage becomes official.[28][29] Wood said that she is sometimes puzzled when reading Steffy's scripts, but connects her present storyline to the character's past. She said: "I just think back to all the things Steffy has been through. She has a lot of deep seeded issues. That is where I think it stems from with her father leaving her, losing her sister, her mom sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend, etc. There are just so many traumatic things![30]

Phoebe's death and relationship with Rick[edit]

"You have to keep remembering that she did lose her fraternal twin, and I think people tend to forget that because we do shoot so fast, and that’s how it’s started. It was about the honesty and it was raw, and we could open up to each other in the heat of the moment"[24]

—Wood on hooking up with Phoebe's boyfriend Rick after her death

A big storyline occurred for the character in 2008, when Phoebe is killed after the car her boyfriend Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) was driving crashes. Her death left Steffy "despondent and nearly suicidal". Wood recalled filming the storyline as being tough: "Being a newbie, I was up most of the night trying to memorize all those monologues." Speaking of emotional scenes where Steffy visited her sister's body in the morgue, the actress noted "She was so tiny and innocent, and to see this beautiful young girl in the morgue, I had to keep my emotions in check. It was challenging. It was such a sad story."[31] Months later, Steffy becomes romantically involved with Rick, who was also previously in a relationship with her mother, Taylor. Reflecting on her initial reaction to the storyline, Wood revealed "Sometimes when you read a script, you're like, 'How am I going [to] do this? How is Steffy going to fall in love with Rick after he had sex with her sister and their mom?'"[31] She also noted that "I had to play that my fraternal twin is gone, and maybe I am doing this to live her life as well as have fun. She had to fill that void, and she could not talk to anyone. She lost a part of herself. I have to stress that to the viewers."[24] Wood was "completely shocked" with the speed at which the couple were moving, and said that the romance happened through Phoebe's death because of Steffy's raw feelings. However, she still felt that Steffy was in love with Rick and wanted to give herself to him. Lowder said the couple came together at the "height of their emotions when Phoebe died". While describing the romance as "complete honesty and no games", Wood said Steffy felt if she was close to Rick she could be close to Phoebe.[24]

Rivalry with Hope and relationship with Liam[edit]

From 2010 to 2013, Steffy competes with her arch-rival Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula) for Liam Spencer's (Scott Clifton) affections.[23] Steffy had previously pined for Hope's first love, Oliver (Zack Conroy).[32] The Hope/Steffy rivalry follows in the tradition of the animosity between Taylor and Hope's mother Brooke, who fight over Ridge in a love triangle that spans three decades. The show's head writer Bradley Bell said, "Hope's presence at Forrester Creations, as well as in Brooke and Ridge's home, sparks an intense competition between Hope and her step-sister Steffy as well as creates new conflict between long-time rivals Brooke and Taylor as each woman is determined to protect her own daughter."[33]

Scott Clifton plays Liam Spencer, Steffy's romantic interest.

Wood has stated that Steffy refuses to give Liam up because of everything she has been through and lost. She said, "It’s hard for her to say goodbye and hard for her to leave ... She wants somebody there but she is very broken inside."[30] After years of uncertainty, in which Liam is married to both Hope and Steffy on separate occasions, Steffy becomes pregnant with his child in 2013.[34] Wood was shocked, and said that Steffy is a "wild child" who likes to go to nightclubs and ride motorcycles, but "everything just stops" with her pregnancy. Initially, Steffy does not tell Liam about the baby because she sees him in bed with Hope, and leaves for Paris. Liam discovers the truth and he marries Steffy at the Forrester Mansion.[35] Just before discovering Steffy is carrying his child, Liam nearly marries Hope in a "room service elopement" scheme arranged by Brooke; an ambush that was described as "evil" by Daytime Confidential.[36] Wood felt that Steffy is more mature and level-headed as a result of her pregnancy.[30] Steffy later loses the child in a motorbike accident, and becomes unconscious.[37]

The miscarriage leaves Steffy devastated and she decides to leave town, ending her marriage to Liam. Wood noted that "Steffy was so set on she really messed this up" and noticed that Liam still had feelings for Hope. Speaking of the miscarriage and the end of Liam and Steffy's marriage, Wood explained: "She is obviously trying a reason to get out of it. In her heart and soul, she wants to be with him. She felt he was her soulmate, but with everything that has happened, she feels it was her fault and she can't change that. She should never have gotten on that motorcycle and he told her not to. There have been so many things that happened that it opens her eyes to the possibility that maybe he should be with Hope."[38] Upon Steffy's brief return to the show in 2015, she realizes that she still loves Liam, despite believing that these feelings were gone. Wood explained "They lost a child together, so they’ll always have that emotional connection." Despite liking the fact that Steffy "speaks up" and "fights for love", Wood said that she wanted "to see someone come in and sweep her off her feet and take that pain away", not wanting her to fight for "a man that flip flops".[20] However, Liam is involved with Steffy's cousin Ivy Forrester (Ashleigh Brewer) and Steffy does not win him back.[21] Wood noted that "in Steffy's mind, Ivy is just some new woman in town and Liam is fair game. He and Ivy have no history."[21]

Storylines[edit]

Following the birth of this first child, Thomas Forrester, Dr. Taylor Forrester—married to Ridge—becomes pregnant with twins. Throughout the pregnancy, Taylor suffers with tuberculosis, although she delivers the children without medication. Steffy and Phoebe Forrester are born on September 21, 1999, as Taylor almost dies. Steffy is named after her grandmother, Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery). In February 2001, a family trip to Saint Thomas—where Ridge and Taylor renew their vows—ends in devastation when two-year-old Steffy supposedly falls overboard during a storm and is presumed dead. However, Steffy has been kidnapped by Ridge's unstable ex-girlfriend Morgan DeWitt (Sarah Buxton)—who was previously obsessed with having a child with him— and Steffy is confined her to the walls of Morgan's home. Months after Steffy's supposed death, Taylor visits Morgan and discovers that Steffy is alive. Morgan then takes Taylor and Steffy hostage, but they are saved by Ridge. Morgan tries to flee but is arrested. The next year, Taylor is supposedly killed after being shot by another unstable resident, Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown), while trying to save Ridge's former love Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) from being shot. Much to Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy's dismay, Ridge marries Brooke months later. The children have difficulty accepting Brooke as their stepmother. In 2005, Taylor is found alive and she returns to her marriage to Ridge, having missed much of Steffy's childhood. In 2006, Steffy leaves town for boarding school in England after Taylor and Ridge divorce.

In 2008, a graduated Steffy returns to Los Angeles and begins working for the family fashion house, Forrester Creations. She briefly dates Marcus Walton (Texas Battle), and discovers that he is the son of Brooke's sister Donna Logan (Jennifer Gareis). Phoebe is killed in a car accident after the car she was driving with her boyfriend Rick swerves off the road. Steffy mourns the loss of Phoebe and begins a romance with Rick to feel closer to Phoebe. Her family are horrified and eventually break up the relationship. When businessman Bill Spencer, Jr. (Don Diamont) takes over Forrester Creations, Steffy seduces him (who is married to Katie Logan (Heather Tom), Brooke's sister) in order to win the company back for the Forresters in February 2010, ensuring that the Logan sisters have been excluded as owners. Steffy takes an interest in Oliver (Zack Conroy)—who is dating Brooke's daughter Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula)—but Oliver rejects her. At a pool party, Brooke has sex with Oliver, believing he was Ridge and he believing she was Hope. At Hope's graduation party, a tape supposedly narrated by Steffy appears to expose this scandal. After Ridge consequently fires Steffy from Forrester Creations, Taylor compensates by signing over her 25% shares to Steffy. However, it is soon revealed that Steffy's narration was manipulated by computer expert Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton), who is Bill's son. Steffy forgives Liam and later develops feelings for him, but he begins a romance with Hope who will not have sex with him until marriage. Steffy travels to Paris for an extended business trip.

In 2011, Steffy returns from Paris and seeks a relationship with Bill. When Bill nearly drives Amber Moore (Adrienne Frantz) to her death at a cliff, Steffy—who saves Amber—keeps this a secret. Katie demands Bill to see a therapist (Taylor). He later has an emotional affair with Steffy and vows to leave Katie for her, which ends when Katie has a heart attack after learning of it. Steffy slips in her bathtub, nearly drowning herself, but she is saved by Liam, now Hope's fiancé. This reignites her feelings for him. While Hope neglects Liam emotionally during their wedding preparations, Steffy is there for him. Hope watches Steffy and Liam kissing, and dumps him. Liam instantly proposes to Steffy; they travel to Aspen, Colorado days later and marry, despite Hope trying to stop the wedding. Liam, however, cannot choose between Hope and Steffy, ultimately deciding to be with Hope after finding out that Bill had manipulated him into staying with Steffy. Liam files for divorce in 2012, but still in love with him, Steffy refuses to sign the papers. She eventually signs the papers, freeing Liam to marry Hope. However, Liam still has feelings for Steffy, prompting him to tear up the annulment papers and kiss her. Despite this, Liam and Steffy eventually divorce. Shortly thereafter, Liam believes Hope has left him on their wedding day in Italy. He declares his love for Steffy, but Hope soon tells him of the misunderstanding. Torn, Liam marries Hope nonetheless.

Before Hope and Liam's official legal wedding in the United States, Steffy spends a night on the town with Liam. Hope finds out and leaves Liam. Steffy and Liam are reunited, and she soon finds she is pregnant in early 2013. However, she keeps it to herself when she sees Hope and Liam kissing. Liam finds out about the pregnancy and recommits himself to Steffy, but shortly after their wedding she who loses the baby in a motorbike accident. Steffy then learns that her accident has left her infertile. Devastated, Steffy decides to divorce Liam and relocate to Paris. She returns to Los Angeles several months later for a brief visit, informing Liam that her infertility issues have been corrected, hoping that it could mean a second chance for them. Despite this, Liam insists that he is obligated to Hope, and Steffy leaves town again. In February 2015, Liam wants to take over Forrester Creations, and has Steffy return to Los Angeles to help him do so by potentially combining her shares of the company with Thomas and Bill's. However, when Liam refuses to leave her cousin Ivy Forrester (Ashleigh Brewer) and return to her, Steffy returns to Paris.

Reception[edit]

Wood's performance of Steffy has received acclaim, and she has become a fan favorite.[39][40] On-Air On-Soaps said Wood had the "unique challenge" of making the despised character into a more complex and well-rounded one, who fans were rooting for, while also praising her as "one of the hardest working younger actresses in daytime today".[30] Writing for Canyon News in July 2009, Tommy Garrett applauded Wood for making the role "believable" and noted that fans have "readily accepted her as the surviving twin of Ridge and Taylor's", saying: "Stepping into a role that has been played by more than one actress would be a very daunting task for a lesser actress. But Jacqueline has embraced the role and made it her own."[41] Garrett enjoys Wood playing a story in which she is "shocked to learn things".[42] While criticizing the material written for the character as being "often repetitive and silly", Sara Bibel of Xfinity opined in June 2012 that Wood is a "charismatic actress" who rises above the script to "deliver consistently interesting performances".[43] In July 2012, Soaps In Depth commended Wood's performance, observing that "While her sexiness is a given, Wood has a way of bringing a cool, copacetic attitude to her scenes", while praising her ability to infuse "both melancholy and mirth" in her performance.[44] In March 2015, Michael Logan of TV Insider called Steffy "that maddeningly complicated sexbomb".[21]

Wood with co-star Scott Clifton in 2013.

Canyon News called Rick and Steffy's relationship "tumultuous" and a "fun ride" for viewers.[41] When Steffy began pursuing Bill Spencer, Jr. in 2011, despite his marriage to Katie Logan, Jemmah Kelly of TV Soap remarked: "Whoever coined the phrase ‘there ain’t no rest for the wicked’, must have had The Bold and the Beautiful’s Steffy Forrester in mind", writing that "nothing is off limits for this scheming beauty".[45] When Steffy became pregnant in 2013, Garrett said that while he "loved seeing Jacquie play a vixen, it’s equally a fascinating and entertaining watching her as a heroine". He noted that Steffy still had "that edge", and Wood is a "creative genius, an actress who just seems to get better with time".[46] Regan Cellura of Daytime Confidential criticized the motorcycle crash plot in which Steffy miscarries her baby, writing "I’m sorry, but whose idea was it for a pregnant lady to ride a motorcycle?" and "I can’t even muster up a little snark other than I can’t stand baby killers".[37][47]

Daytime Confidential hailed the rivalry between Hope and Steffy as the show's "Next Generation" version of Brooke and Taylor.[48] Prior to the introduction of Liam, TV Soap wrote: "After 23 years of being the main love triangle on The Bold and The Beautiful, it looks like the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor saga is being pushed into the background by three new players – Steffy, Oliver and Hope", and noted that "diehard" fans of the show had begun recognizing the trio of Steffy, Oliver and Hope as "the new Brooke, Ridge and Taylor".[49] TV Week called Steffy, Liam and Hope "one of Bold’s classic love triangles".[50] However, Michael Logan, writing for TV Guide, observed in 2012 that the trio's saga was "heavily" played and had "taken over the show".[51] In February 2013, "#Steffy" became a trending topic on Twitter during the scene where Steffy stopped Hope and Liam's impromptu wedding to reveal her pregnancy.[52]

Wood's performance earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013.[53][54][55][56] For the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards, Wood submitted the scenes in which Steffy is informed of the end of her affair with Bill.[57] A 2013 Daytime Confidential poll entitled "Who should win Outstanding Younger Actress?" saw Wood rank ahead of fellow daytime actresses Hunter King (The Young and the Restless), Kristen Alderson and Lindsey Morgan (General Hospital), with readers favoring her as the likely winner of the award.[58] For the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards, Wood submitted the scenes where Steffy surprises Liam by presenting him with signed annulment papers.[59] Michael Logan listed Wood as his predicted winner in the Outstanding Younger Actress category for that year, writing: "Wood is startlingly versatile and in supreme command as Steffy hands over the signed annulment papers to her husband Liam. There are surprises galore, including a wondrously off-key, Bob Hope-inspired rendition of "Thanks for the Memory," and Wood is at once raw, goofy, sexy. luminous, profound and so very memorable. I may be fairly crummy at my Emmy predictions but this I'm dead certain about: Wood is going to be a major star."[60]

References[edit]

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